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Nuffield Farming Scholarships Awarded

Two dairy farmers keen to study international issues that impact on the New Zealand agricultural sector have been awarded Nuffield Farming Scholarships for 2000.

Outstanding farmers are awarded scholarships to allow them to study farming in the United Kingdom for six months.

Waikato takes both scholarships this year. They are Juliet Maclean, from Ohaupo and John Wilson, from Te Awamutu.

Juliet Maclean will study biotechnology, focusing on information in three key areas: productive farm animals; forage; and food. She sees biotechnology as the dawn of a new era in agriculture, which needs thorough and careful assessment. There is no doubt that, from a farmer's perspective, biotechnology poses a huge dilemma. In the very near future, many NZ farmers will be faced with crucial decisions whether or not to support and adopt a technology that could reduce their costs and enhance productivity.

John Wilson will study alternative farmer co-operative structures and their approaches to performance measurement. He seeks answers to the questions of "how the shareholders of a single NZ mega co-operative measure its performance without a true market price for milk?" and "how do these 'new generation' co-operatives guarantee to shareholders the required transparency and accountability in their financial performance?"

In addition to this, John, seeks to investigate the dilemma with biotechnology and G.M.O's - the balance of productivity improvement versus consumer acceptance.

The Scholarships are sponsored by: Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc), Meat New Zealand, New Zealand Dairy Board, Wools of New Zealand, Mackenzie Charitable Foundation, Nuffield Scholars Association, and the Kiwifruit and Apple & Pear Marketing Boards.

ENDS

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